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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 27
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Screaming Tribesmen, Bungonia
Mark R
10:36:35 AM
Anyone been on this? Heading up there this weekend and thinking of a burl up this or Albino. Have done Evolution (excellent, give it a go) and a few other journeys up south wall. Heard of a new 24 recently too... anyone have details... is it the completion of the old medusa project?

Back to topic Ive been told much of Screaming Tribesmen is worthless... Was thinking of approaching via nitro express to bet to the awesome looking roof pitches. Anyone done nitro in recent years? How have the bolts held up?
10:55:55 AM
Albino is one star at most, though there are 2 good slab pitches, the traverse in is a pain
11:15:23 AM
I've heard good reports of Iron Curtain/Screaming Tribesman link-up. Would be keen to hear your opinion after you have done it.

By the way, if you had to pick one route from Bungonia for a 50 Classic Climbs of Australia book - what route should get the nod?
Mark R
3:35:32 PM
Mikl... read your and Neils comments on Albino thread... does look kind of epic.

Simon... Ive done Iron Curtain (to the start of ST) a few years back. Recall it was great. Main reason Im thinking of having a look at Nitro.

As for the best route I would have thought Siblings has the cult status. Ive done first 4 pitches before traversing off (into reason of man I think)... its good. Plan to have a look at top pitches this time round... they get most of the press. Not much written about overture to sun but Im thinking it might be quite awesome too... bit harder again. Bit hard for me this trip but siblings probably will be too. Evolution is excellent. Sustained great climbing mostly 22-24. Very user friendly. Probably the only bit on the whole route that links more than 1 piece of natural is the crux. Not of course that sports is the be all and end all.

I guess the other one thats hard to go past is Strangness and Charm... shorter, south walls the main event, but pretty nice and the most commonly climbed (perhaps).

5:26:38 PM
First four or so pitches of Screaming tribesman are terrible. Really dirty, vegetated, lots of loose rock on he 4th (?) pitch. Route finding is epic as well. I thought I was going to die on some pitches trying to mantle onto leaf and dirt ledges with shit gear way below. The upper pitches are good though, so climb that sport route on the left instead.
Mark R
6:17:08 PM
You mean the bottom half of the original ST Neil? And refering to Iron Curtain to left? Its good. Will scope the next route left perhaps (nitro express). The terrain through the arch does look insane.
9:55:43 PM
On 17/04/2011 Mark R wrote:
>I guess the other one thats hard to go past is Strangness and Charm... shorter, south walls the main event, but pretty nice and the most commonly climbed (perhaps).

Strangeness and Charm is the route I have tentatively listed as the area's classic because it's lower grade makes it more accessible to the masses. However I don't have enough experience with the area to really know. Appreciate the feedback.

10:16:19 PM
The Iron Curtain / Tribesmen linkup is excellent, except the last couple of pitches. The first pitch (from the top of Iron Curtain) of Tribesmen out the headwall is memorable to say the least. The following pitch (grade 25) is OK, but from there up is a bit runout and chossy. Easier climbing though.

From what I've heard Nitro Express has potential to be a bit runout and dirty too.

As for classics, Evolution for sure, Siblings and Strangeness too. If I had to pick just one, it would have to be Siblings I reckon.

10:48:10 PM
Siblings is mega chipped so that should remove it from any top 50 list. Strangeness is the route of the area - quality rock, great gear and good line. I've heard good things about Evolution but haven't done it.
8:49:18 AM
Yeah, the chipping is ugly - but it is only 10m out of a 250m route!

8:16:09 PM
Strangeness is better than Evolution I think (especially if you do screaming c--katoo to start) as its a great line and fairly sustained.
Evolution was excellent but it has a couple of average pitches with more vegetation and an aid move on the final pitch. The 22,23 and 24 pitches were stunning though, and you do top out. Hmmm, close.

Screaming tribesman, the lower pitches, were as Neil said, adventurous but not exactly quality climbing. The orange upper 23 pitch is great, but still dirty and a one starred araps wroute would be better.
Mark R
8:59:44 PM
Wailing c--katoo (ha... cant believe the site moderates that... not like its a wine add) into Strangness is great. Strangness direct was even better I think but the 22/22/22 thing works nicely with the former. Saw a VERY big spider on this route. Like helmet size. Could have been suffering a stress response.

Id forgotten about that last pitch on Evolution... it is fairly pox but the rest is really very good.

The only thing that detracts from the north wall is that its hard to deny the ever present monster breathing down your neck... the south wall is just so AWESOME!

Has anyone tried Critical Mass? I remember getting on it years ago and finding it to be very cool moves but pretty staunch going at 24. Thin slabby nonsense that just goes really well. Might have just exposed my crap slab technique.

10:23:47 PM
The first and the third pitches on Evolution were also not great- I remember a lot of right ward traversing and average spaced gear up slabs. But they really are access pitches and the superb second half makes you forget the first bit
One Day Hero
1:14:24 PM
If the 23, 22 and 24 pitches of Evolution were at Nowra, they would be the best routes there at the respective grades. The other 4 pitches are not great, but still keep your interest up (what a position!) The main reason that Evolution is more classic than Strangeness is that it tops out and saves you the bastard walk up out of the gorge. I would rate Strangeness, Siblings and Evolution higher than almost anything in the Grose (and they're better routes than some of the famous long limestone I climbed in France!)..........why doesn't anyone ever go to this mega-crag?
8:07:09 PM


I have done a few routes on this wall including the link up of iron curtain to screaming tribesman. The 22/23 pitch is sweet as and soft but the 25 adventurous and bouldery. After the over hang its a slab hike. I added a U bolt to both anchors on the overhang to make them safer.

I also added a new route this summer that avoids the 25 pitch of screaming tribesman and rather than going right you blast straight up on like 11 Us through a totally sick pitch of pumpyness at grade 25 (makes going right look boring but is easier to me going straight up). The route then hikes left for a pitch of bush traversing and links into four new pitchs to the cooee lookout. The route is called Asteroids and the grades are 25,19,22,24,20,23 for the new climbing from the junction of screaming tribesman and is all Us and bolted belays. I think nitro express is just ok and that with iron curtain link up this new route is two to three stars almost as good as evolution.

Enjoy! If you do it let me know how you go or PM me for a topo.

8:23:25 PM
duncan... this route sounds brilliant, and I like the sound of th Ubolts!! I would be super keen for a topo.. will try to convince the guys to give it a go this weekend!
Mark R
9:28:39 PM
No convincing required... I'm all over that!! The traverse sounds a bit dicky but I like the sound of the rest of it! All sports for Asteroids... must just need a minimal rack for a few bits of iron void and the screaming tribesman pitch?
Mark R
9:29:13 PM
Oh... and how do I get a topo??

9:17:38 PM
On 20/04/2011 dclimber wrote:
>I also added a new route this summer - Asteroids

I repeated this route today with Vanessa Wills. Awesome big day out! 11 pitches squeezed into a winters day was a bit hard going. Lets just say we didn't exactly get the clean ascent. I've got a couple of questions and beta tips from the very vague write up you gave us here on Chockstone (we didn't get the promised topo in time!)

First thing - you mention that all the new climbing was bolted. This seems in-correct. I'll address each pitch.

> that avoids the 25 pitch of screaming
>tribesman and rather than going right you blast straight up on like 11
>Us through a totally sick pitch of pumpyness at grade 25 (makes going right
>look boring but is easier to me going straight up).

It should be noted that this pitch is actually the old direct project that was half bolted about 15 (?) years ago. It's an amazing pitch - a huge hanging tufa and pumpy headwall. Really great. It's not 11 u-bolts, half the bolts are still the old homemade hangers and dynabolts. Such a rad pitch and grade 25 felt right (even thought I sat on almost every bolt!

>The route then hikes
>left for a pitch of bush traversing

This is about 30m of traversing (passing a set of double FIXE hangers) then downclimbs a 5m section of vegetated wall then keep traversing left for another 20m. We made the mistake of just traversing left and ended up on a deadend ledge. You certainly want to be roped up for this pitch even though its just 4th class scrambling! Very loose blocks and dirt at one point. Look for the double U bolt belay. It should be noted that there are NO bolts above this anchor.

PITCH 2 - grade 19 (or 20)
We climbed the next pitch direct above this anchor on full trad for 15m to ledge with tree. This was crozzley (thats limestone speak for dirty!) and badly protected. Medium to big cams in poor horizontal which were very crumbly. This pitch was also pumpy and hard for 19. I'd go as far as saying its dangerous and certainly unpleasant. Whole footholds and handholds were literally crumbling underneath us. Once you get to the ledge with the tree at 15m suddenly lots of bolts appear (??). Weird thing is there is heaps better trad potential on this upper section (but its all bolted) and the rock quality is way better than the start death trad section. We followed some faint chalk on the start - but I thought it looked like it could have also started on some big heucos about 2m left of the anchor. Either way the first 15m of this pitch is trad. The rest is sport. We thought this pitch would be better graded at 20 not 19. Add a couple of bolts to the start of this pitch and it would be much better!

PITCH 2 - grade 24
The start of this pitch seems to be missing a bolt?? You clip a u-bolt straight above the belay then have to climb 6m or more to the next bolt with reasonably hard moves (19 or 20ish?). I got some marginal trad gear in this section (poxy cam half only half in and shitty wire in soft rock). The most alarmingly thing was right at this scary desperate section there is a bolt hole staring you in the face (but no bolt!!). Did you forget to place it - or run out of bolts? If you fell off at the most runout part you would smack your belayer to pieces and go past the belay a long way. The rest of the pitch is very well protected on phat stainless steel and really nice. Great pockets and wall climbing. Grade 24 felt about right.

PITCH 3 - grade 20
Straightforward bolted climbing - at the top of the hard stuff you need to traverse left for about 4m then over a bulge past last bolt to belay below large orange wall. All bolts (although a cam would be useful before you do the traverse).

PITCH 4 - grade 23
Well bolted sport climbing - mostly cruisy jug hauling then a tricky bulgy finish. Once you top out on the 'rock-climbing' part you scramble up ledges and vegetation for another 15m to top of the wall (still on belay). We couldn't find any top anchors - and just tied off two little crappy trees.

I reckon this new route by itself is two stars and combining it with Iron Curtain makes an awesome three star day of cranking! I can't think of many other sustained long routes in mainland Australia at that length? It's gotta be 350+ metres? Way longer than Evolution or Siblings.

Plenty of loose rock on all new pitches - bring a helmet and don't expect pristine Euro limestone...

11:14:03 PM
I'm tired. I just got home.

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There are 27 messages in this topic.


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